Fringe: Don’t Worry — I Know a Guy!

By
Photo: Courtesy of Fox
Show
Fringe
Episode Title
Fracture
Season
2
Episode
3

Perched between humorless, dogged Dunham and zany, brilliant Walter, Peter remains a bit of a cipher. Aside from zinging sarcastic one-liners, his major contribution to the show has been his ability to fix any impossible situation by saying, “Don’t worry — I know a guy,” and then visiting some “shady,” off-the-grid individual who can, say, repair a warped hard drive. This neat trick always impresses straightlaced Dunham, but despite his facial scruff and leather coats, Joshua Jackson just doesn’t fit the part of a guy who “knows a guy” — what does it say when Kramer is a more convincing denizen of the underworld? Sadly, this episode requires Peter to use this special skill more than once — most ridiculously when he and Dunham have to pack their bags for an impromptu trip to Baghdad. No, really.

The Evil: In Philadelphia, a policeman walks into a train station to accept a suitcase from a stranger. But once he does, he explodes, killing those around him.

The Determination: The policeman, recently returned from Iraq, was part of a group of soldiers who received an experimental serum that accidentally turned them into walking bombs that can be controlled remotely. Now, their commanding officer wants to use them to unwittingly destroy a team of mysterious individuals (led by the Observer) who “want to exterminate us.”

Intel on Massive Dynamic: Dunham continued to hang out with Nina Sharp’s healer friend Sam Weiss. And she’s making progress: Dunham is now experiencing debilitating headaches, which are a sign that her brain is starting to recall the repressed memories from her visit to Parallel Earth.

Wacky Factor: Walter insists that his and Peter’s new apartment has to face east because “I need the morning sun.” Plus, we learned that he made Peter as a boy put together a jigsaw puzzle of a naked Playmate to learn about the birds and bees. Also, he has a penchant for singing opera. Naked. While doing jumping jacks. Which makes his habit of licking doughnuts seem tolerable by comparison.

Paranoia Level: Low. Especially mediocre episodes draw, almost desperately, on other dramas. With its military-conspiracy plotline, this one resembles a square-jawed CBS mystery show like NCIS. But things get really ludicrous once Dunham and Peter venture into Iraq to hunt down his former associate with information about the top secret serum. Granted, the show asks us to accept a lot of unbelievable nonsense every week, but trying to pretend that a generic room with a beaded curtain is actually in the heart of Baghdad is just plain silly. Really, the whole episode is merely an excuse to establish this new threat headed up by the Observer. Why are they monitoring Walter’s activities? What’s their devious plan? It’s hard to say, but let’s hope Peter knows a guy who can clear it up for us.